Tag Archives: pinterest

First Attempt At Homemade Alfredo Sauce

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First Attempt At Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Hello!! I love to cook and try out new recipes and during my last curbside order, Johnny requested fettuccine Alfredo for dinner. I have never made it before but I figured that it couldn’t be that hard! As per ushe, I consulted Pinterest for a recipe and settled on one by Self Proclaimed Foodie. Although I wasn’t blown away with the end result, it was still pretty good. Check it out:

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^^^ Obsessed with my tomato butter! YUM!

The Alfredo sauce recipe by Self Proclaimed Foodie only had four ingredients to it – butter, garlic, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. I went with this recipe for its simplicity but I think it was a little too simple for my liking. Even after adding parsley, salt, pepper, and way more garlic than necessary, it tasted really bland overall. I definitely plan on making Alfredo sauce again but I think that I will find another recipe for it.

During my next attempt at Alfredo sauce, I will also be steering clear of the Kraft Parmesan cheese! I didn’t even think about buying the thinly shredded kind, which probably would have made a big difference. The Kraft cheese didn’t fully melt down and that gave the sauce a slightly gritty texture. It didn’t make as much of a difference once it was poured over pasta but taste testing from the pot left a lot to be desired!

On the bright side, Johnny ended up really enjoying his requested dinner so that made me happy. I just hate when something I make doesn’t turn out exactly how I want it so here’s to a more flavorful and creamy sauce next time around!

What recipe do you recommend for homemade Alfredo sauce? Have you tried cooking anything new recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

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Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

Hello! My dad’s garden was so bountiful this past summer and it is still currently producing a TON of tomatoes. The red fruit has basically taken over my parents’ kitchen so I was called in for cooking reinforcement. We were all sick of spaghetti sauces and salsas so I turned to Pinterest for new recipes to lighten the tomato burden. I made a tomato pie found on Biscuits & Burlap as well as a tomato butter compliments of Kitchn. Both of them turned out really good! Check it out:

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I had two full bowls of tomatoes to work with and these two recipes used them all up, which was awesome. They were also SO incredibly easy to make. The tomato pie by Biscuits & Burlap took me about twenty minutes to make and my dad and I liked it a lot. We both agreed, however, that it definitely needed more to it.

When I cook a new recipe, I tend to follow the directions exactly. Then, if I like it enough, I add my own twists the next time around. When I make the tomato pie again, I plan on using a Pillsbury crust and will be adding an extra tomato and cheese layer. I also will be using a lot more fresh basil, garlic, and onions. The tomato pie would taste even better with spinach so I’ll add that into the mix too.

The tomato butter by Kitchn was a recipe that I was somewhat ambivalent about making but I am glad I did. It is so unique and will be a perfect addition to grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti, and French bread. I was worried after I used the food processor to blend the broiled tomatoes, herbs, and butter because the consistency was like tomato soup! After a day in the refrigerator, it formed into a whipped spread and that was more like it lol.

Like the tomato pie, the butter was good but it needed something extra. The butter was a bit on the bland side so if I make it again, I will be adding a lot of garlic (Which the recipe didn’t call for) and fresh basil. Despite not being as flavorful as I would have liked, I love the idea of this recipe and it is such a fresh and different way to use up a tomato harvest.

If you have Too Many Tomatoes, then do be sure to give these recipes a try and let me know what you think! 😀

What have you been making with your garden veggies? What do you like to make with tomatoes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Yummy Asian Cabbage Salad

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Yummy Asian Cabbage Salad

Hello! Johnny and I have several favorite go to meals that I make pretty much every time I do grocery shopping. This is all well and good but it can get kind of boring cooking the same things with no variation. So, I have made it a point to try making new side dishes to enhance the meal even more. It’s amazing how much the dinner transforms with just one different thing, like when I made a pot of cilantro lime rice with a taco dinner.

To keep going with this, I decided to try a new salad recipe when I cooked a veggie lo mein meal for my entire family. I found the recipe for Asian Cabbage Salad with a peanut ginger dressing on Well Plated By Erin. I had scoped out many Asian salads on Pinterest but I went with Well Plated’s because it used the fewest ingredients and looked so easy to make. Check it out:

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I love going on Pinterest but it can sometimes be disheartening because there are a plethora of recipes that I would like to try but use SO. Many. Ingredients. I just can’t justify buying twenty plus things for a dish that I might not even like. I already had about three fourths of the ingredients that I needed for this salad so it was the obvious choice to go with and I am glad I did!

This Asian Cabbage Salad was to die for and, much to my surprise, Johnny even liked it. That is really saying something because I truly thought that he was going to tell me that there were too many vegetables in it lol. The salad had so much crunch, flavor, and texture and it was delicious as a side or mixed into the veggie lo mein. It also kept for several days leftover and that was another huge plus because of how much the simple recipe made.

I definitely plan on making Well Plated By Erin’s recipe again but there is one thing that I will be tweaking. While I liked the peanut ginger dressing well enough, it didn’t pack much of a punch against all of the colorful veggies. I would have liked for the dressing to have a bit more bite and I’m not sure if that can be solved by making more of it or adding something new. I’m thinking of substituting a tablespoon of the honey for brown sugar and adding one more tablespoon of soy sauce to see if that will make a difference.

Overall, I am really pleased with this new recipe and it was a hit at dinner… It was also a hit every time I had it leftover too and you can’t beat that!

Where do you like to find new recipes? Have you cooked anything new recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Delicious Guacamole Recipe & Cilantro Lime Rice

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Delicious Guacamole Recipe & Cilantro Lime Rice

Hello! This past Saturday was a very busy one. We visited my mom at the Cleveland Clinic, I cooked up a feast, and watched my niece while her baby sister was born. For dinner, I treated my dad, brother, and Johnny to homemade Cheesy Gordita Crunches. This is the second time that I have made them and the meal turned out excellent. And in the words of Emeril Lagasse, I definitely kicked things up a notch.

The last time I made Taco Bell style Cheesy Gordita Crunches for dinner, I used the beef crumbles by MorningStar. While I didn’t care for it, Johnny liked it well enough so I just decided to use real beef for the guys and vegetarian refried beans for me. I have never cooked ground beef in my life and apparently it turned out good lol. Not that I was surprised because, I hate to toot my own horn, but Johnny says I cook bacon better than someone who eats meat. GREAT SUCCESS! 😀

Not only did I make all of the fixings for our taco dinner but I also prepared some extra additions to enhance the meal. I made a new Pinterest recipe for cilantro lime rice, which can be found here at Downshiftology. I also whipped up a batch of my own personal recipe for guacamole that I think is simply the best. Check it out:

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^^^ Obviously I should have taken a picture of my guac before we chowed down!

Of course, Taco Bell was the source of inspiration for this meal and my life in general. However, I was also trying to serve major Chipotle vibes. The recipe that I used for the cilantro lime rice claims to be a Chipotle taste alike and I completely agree. It. Was. Delicious. The zingy lime and cilantro balanced out the garlic and salt perfectly and I honestly think that I could have ate the entire bowl. I highly recommend making it during your next taco dinner!

I also hate to toot my own horn again but I truly believe that my guacamole is a Chipotle taste alike too. It is SO easy to make with minimal ingredients and tastes divine. This is my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 mashed avocados
  • A small portion of red onion, finely chopped
  • Juice, pulp, and zest from one lime
  • Several sprigs of cilantro
  • Course sea salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

While you can add anything you please to your guacamole like chopped olive or tomato, I always say that simple is best. All of the different flavors and textures in my recipe blend together so well and that extra dose of lime in the zest and pulp sends it over the top. I also just mash up my avocado with a spoon, which makes it very similar in texture to Chipotle’s, which is definitely more chunky. Now, if only I could make a taste alike for their tortilla chips. YUM!

As you all know, I love cooking for Johnny but it was SO nice to be able to make a meal for my dad and brother too. Cooking soothes my soul and watching people enjoy what I make makes it even better. ❤

What are some of your favorite taste alike recipes? How do you prepare the perfect taco? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bubble Pop Craft

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Bubble Pop Craft

Hello! This past weekend was a whirlwind because my sister just had another beautiful baby girl! I am so excited to be a TT of three and my Val Gal is over the moon to be a big sister. While the little miss was making her grand debut, my dad and I watched Val over the weekend. We had an absolute blast playing outside, going to see a dance program, and making a super fun bubble craft!

When I was little, I could stay outside picking dandelions and blowing bubbles for hours and Val shares the same sentiments. On Sunday morning, it was very dreary so we couldn’t play outside. But, in the recesses of my brain, I remembered a craft that I had seen on Pinterest by Broogly that was sure to keep her occupied. Check it out:

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What You’ll Need:

  • Bubble soap
  • Food coloring
  • Paper

What To Do:

  • Mix food coloring and bubble soap together
  • Blow bubbles over your piece of paper to create your pop art. The longer the bubble sits on the paper, the deeper the color will be.

This bubble pop craft was so easy to put together and Val and I spent over an hour and a half making six masterpieces for her baby sis, uncles, and grandma. While this is definitely a better craft for doing outside, we were able to make it work with minimal mess by placing beach towels over the kitchen floor to blow bubbles on. The mess actually came after the project was complete when I accidentally knocked into Val and blue bubble soap spilled all over the floor. WHOOPS lol.

Not only was this craft entertaining but it was educational too. I got to teach Val all about mixing colors to make new ones and she assisted in helping me make purple and orange bubble soap. I loved how her orange turned out! She would tell you that the purple was the best and, as always, it’s her favorite color. ❤

The next time we make this craft (because there will for sure be a next time), hopefully the weather will be nice enough to do it outdoors. I plan on getting bigger sheets of paper and think that it will turn out really cool if we use one of the automatic bubble blowers. Do give this craft a try if you have little ones – they will love it!

Where do you find fun crafts for your kids? What crafts have you made together this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Vegetarian Cheesy Gordita Crunches

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Vegetarian Cheesy Gordita Crunches

Hello!!!! Cooking in the kitchen of mine and Johnny’s new apartment will, honestly, never get old to me because it feels like an actual kitchen. Counter space for days and lots of room to spread out makes for a very happy me and I have had a blast cooking lots of yummy Pinterest recipes for dinner. Even the simplest of meals feels like a special event!

As you all know, Johnny and I are avid fans of Taco Bell and I decided to try my hand at vegetarian Cheesy Gordita Crunches. I drew inspiration from my undying love of TBell, of course, but I also took a peek at Texas Cookin’ At Home on Pinterest. I didn’t end up using the recipe, which featured a homemade sauce because Taco Bell has graced us with their own Baja sauce that can be bought in store. Now, let’s get to it:

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Cheesy Gordita Crunches are super easy to make and only requires dressing a hard taco shell to your liking, microwaving a soft shell tortilla with cheese on it, and putting two and two together. Viola, a TBell level dish in under twenty minutes. For my crunches, I made MorningStar vegetarian beef crumbles, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and the Taco Bell brand Baja sauce. They were so incredibly delicious and filling – Johnny and I couldn’t have had another bite after two Gorditas no matter how much we wanted to!

Prior to going vegetarian in my youth, I had never tried actual taco meat before for no other reason than that it looked gross to me lol. I had never made the MorningStar crumbles before and was curious to try it on a taco. I love that Johnny will eat and actually enjoy the fake meat that I make and he ended up really liking the crumbles. Myself, on the other hand? Not so much. I couldn’t get down with the texture, I didn’t like the taste, and was so happy that I made some refried beans just in case this were to happen.

Although I wouldn’t eat the crumbles again, Johnny would and I definitely plan on making this meal often. It was fun to make, different than what I’ve been cooking, and that TBell Baja sauce? *Chef’s kiss*!

What are some of your favorite meals to cook? Have you ever made a recipe inspired from a restaurant before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super Fun Sidewalk Chalk Paint

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Super Fun Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Hello!! Johnny and I have a little niece and nephew and my mom is always looking for fun activities for them. We are both huge fans of Pinterest and JANE truly outdid herself by making some colorful sidewalk chalk paint from this McCormick recipe. Like any kid, the littles love making masterpieces with chalk and the paint was just as fun for the adults as it was for them:

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The recipe that my mom followed to make the chalk paint was a simple one that only required corn starch, water, and food dye. It also included the formulas to make all kinds of different colors from classic shades to neon hues. My niece, Valerie, requested the colors of the rainbow and my mom delivered, which made their driveway the most vibrant one in the neighborhood!

Sidewalk chalk paint is a unique spin on a tried and true favorite childhood activity. And, in my opinion, it’s even better because you don’t get that weird feeling from chalky hands – lol you guys know how I am about certain textures! This fun activity is sure to keep your kids entertained all summer long and I think that the adults will end up enjoying it just as much if not more. 😀

What was your favorite childhood activity? What do your kids like to do in the summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super Yummy Veggie Lo Mein

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Super Yummy Veggie Lo Mein

Hello! Over the past several months, I have taken to consulting Pinterest for recipe inspiration. It’s like having a cookbook on your phone! I have always loved to cook and the kitchen in my new apartment is much more prep friendly because it has a lot more counter space. While cooking in my old kitchen was fine, it was hard to be limited to just one small area to prepare meals with!

With room to spread out in the kitchen, it has turned cooking back into something really fun rather than cramped and slightly annoying lol. This past week, I tried out a delicious recipe by Momsdish for Veggie Lo Mein. It was a huge hit for me and Johnny as well as my parents who enjoyed the leftovers I brought by later that evening. Check it out:

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Of course, when I’m scouring Pinterest I save recipes that look yummy but I also look for ones that don’t take an entire grocery cart’s worth of ingredients to make. Not only was this Momsdish recipe a huge success but it was made with a little over ten ingredients which was totally doable. It also helped make cooking a recipe that I haven’t tried before less overwhelming because the prep work was minimal and it took only a half hour to make. That’s what I’m talking about!

I followed the Veggie Lo Mein recipe almost to the T with a few exceptions. The carrots that I had went bad so that was a no go. I also added way more garlic than what was called for, as always, as well as ginger to add some more oomph. Johnny and I were both very surprised by the end result because it had so much flavor for so few ingredients. The sauce was tangy, the recommended veggies were perfect, and I can’t wait to make it again.

I am already day dreaming about this Veggie Lo Mein and I also plan on adding my own twists to it:

  • First and foremost, I will be making a double batch because just one was not enough!
  • I’d like to try precooked Lo Mein noodles next time.
  • Using carrots, definitely, as well as adding bamboo shoots or bean sprouts.
  • Garnishing with peanuts and sesame seeds.
  • The brand, Gardein, makes a yummy fake orange chicken to have as a side dish.

If you are looking for a super easy and super delicious dish, then I cannot recommend Momsdish’s Veggie Lo Mein recipe enough. I am so proud of how it turned out and I think that you will love it!

Where do you like to find new recipes? What is your favorite vegetarian friendly dish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza (SO Good!)

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Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza (SO Good!)

Hello! This past weekend was mine and Johnny’s housewarming/birthaversary party and we had the best time! We worked hard for almost an entire month to get our place into tip top shape for guests and it was so nice to be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor… And also, actual fruit. The evening before the party, Johnny was on a cleaning spree and, myself, a cooking and baking spree.

Rather than ordering pizzas or pre-made dishes, I decided that I wanted to be the one making the food for the party. I spent about five hours in total making cold veggie pizza, pasta salad, spinach artichoke dip, and sugar cookie fruit pizzas. I had made everything but the cookies before and was pleased, as always, with how the dishes turned out. The cookies are definitely what I was most proud of, though:

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I found this recipe from Cooking Classy on Pinterest.

When it comes to baking, I like to leave that to my mom and sister because they are both excellent at it. I much prefer to cook but you can’t have a party without some sweet treats! Prior to the big event, I spent a lot of time scouring Pinterest for party dishes and thought that the sugar cookie fruit pizzas would be perfect for a warm day. Not to mention that any leftover fruit could be used as garnishes for drinks… I am nothing if not economical!

For my take on Cooking Classy’s delicious recipe, I used the Pillsbury pre-made sugar cookie dough to save time. I also have never baked sugar cookies before and didn’t want my first time being an epic fail. That is the only thing I strayed from, however, and used the recipe for frosting that was provided and the recommendations for fruit toppings. And, I hate to toot my own horn BUT it turned out amazing and was, easily, the biggest success from my spread.

I am really not a huge dessert girl and am all for savory treats, instead. I don’t like things that are overly sweet and that wasn’t the case with these cookies at all. The cream cheese frosting used salted butter in it to balance out the powdered sugar. And, as my mom always taught me, I added a lot more vanilla extract!

This not too sweet base was ideal for the variety of fruits that Cooking Classy used as a topping. I went with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, pineapple, and kiwi and the only thing I left out was grapes. This medley of fruit provided for a sweet/tart sensation thanks to the zippy flavor of pineapples and berries paired with the softer strawberries and peaches. SO. Good.

I would happily make this recipe by Cooking Classy again and her page is full of yummy recipes so do be sure to check it out. I can’t recommend these cookies enough for your next party or event and they are sure to be as big of a hit as they were at mine!

What is your favorite dessert? What is your favorite food to make for a party? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dinner Time!

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Dinner Time!

Hello! Something that brings me great joy is cooking and I love making delicious meals for Johnny and our friends and family. This past week, my sister and niece joined us for dinner and it was an absolute delight. I texted her a list of options that I could make and she chose lemon pasta. I was excited because I have had that saved on my Pinterest for forever and really wanted to make it!

I prepared the pasta dish with garlic bread and salad and it was a raging success. I also made air fried Oreos for dessert. These pictures are actually of leftovers because I was so hungry I forgot to snap some pics when it was fresh lol:

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You can view the entire recipe for lemon pasta at Contentedness Cooking!

The lemon pasta was an ultra easy and super tasty dish that I most definitely plan on making again. It is nice and light and will make for a perfect meal on a warm spring or summer day. It also tasted great leftover too and was even more lemony after it had time to sit.

When cooking a new recipe, I tend to follow it pretty closely. Then, I add my own variations if I like it enough to make again. The only thing I did differently when making the lemon pasta was use way more garlic than what was called for because we all know that three cloves is simply not enough! The taste of this dish was so yummy but we all agreed that it could use something extra. The next time I make it, I plan on adding the following:

  • Feta cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Fresh parsley
  • Pine nuts

Any type of pasta is my favorite food and this recipe is one that will be enjoyed by anyone who shares my sentiments. It is really good as is but if the recipe looks a little too bland for you, adding extra veggies or herbs will help to kick things up a notch (In the eternal words of Emeril Lagasse)!

Have you tried any new recipes lately? How did they turn out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah